Team graduation.


If dogs could cry, I wouldn’t be one of those dogs. I proved this today by NOT crying at team graduation. The girl was fine.  The dad was kinda crumbling.  The grandma and the grandpa had red eyes.  And the mom was a sobbing mess. These darn humans are so emotional.  And I suppose they should be.  I am very special.  And they are special to have me.

Don’t get my wrong, I was emotional, but I am demure.  I am dignified.  I’ve got a job to do.  No need to get all crazy….

Anyways, my family showed up the training center and I knew I was somewhere awesome.  I was excited even before we parked.  We walked into the center and almost straight away….I saw my puppy raisers!  They came all the way from Arizona to see me and the girl graduate, and I’m so happy they did.  20140126-173350.jpg

Omg. I hadn’t seen them in forever but I remembered them right away.  (plus they had another dog they were training for Guide Dogs and that was pretty cool!)  They are a mom and daughter duo and they did such a great job with me when I was little.  I was their very first service dog and apparently I was a bit of a challenge growing up.  They filled the mom and the dad in on all the little secrets about me.   That I was one of the biggest dogs in their puppy raising club (70lbs by 7.5 months!)…..that I used to get sick a lot and I had a lot of growing pains….that I love to lay on my back (they even showed the mom and dad how to do it) and have my nails done….and that it was really hard for them to give me up when it was time to.  Well, can you blame them?  They could see greatness.  They even shared a bunch of “Baby Darwin” photos with the mom and the dad.  Those will show up up here soon.  I was a darn good looking little pup.  Well, I still am.


And of course I was so happy to see the whole Early Alert Canines family.  Eek! Carol! And Mo! And Beth! And Hilary! And Rick!   And all my foster families. (And even one of Rick’s friends who rearranged his schedule to come to the graduation but snuck off before I could meet him…boo!)  They were all here to see me! And maybe the girl. And maybe the other teams……But mostly they were here to see me.  After all, I am Darwin.  Everyone seems to love me.


Mo and Carol of EAC, and my fellow graduates.
Whoa, Kathy and Fleur and I disappeared in this picture. I promise we were there.

So the whole group of us took photos together, which was very whatever.  I mean, come on, let me sleep or play or sleep or something.  Then more people started showing up.  I guess they wanted to see us graduate!  The mom kept muttering “I’m not going to cry, I’m not going to cry, I’m not going to cry”.    Um, she was just lying to herself.  She totally lost it.  Like even before graduation started.20140126-173331.jpg

BTW, I forgot to mention earlier, but I had been alerting the whole time.  The girl was running around with a bunch of kids and had crazy food so of course I had to be on my game.  And then that doesn’t even include the other diabetics in the room!  What a crazy mixture of scents!  But I kept her from going low!  Because that’s what I do.

So the main part of the graduation was to have my puppy raisers give me to the girl.  In front of about 80 people.  Whoa.  Mo introduced my puppy raisers to the group, and the daughter spoke so beautifully about what a great dog I was…and how she was sad when I left, but she could tell that I was in my right home now…..and that the girl and I were an awesome pair.  The girl knows how to work a crowd, because she kissed me right there, in front of everyone.  Awesome.20140126-190950.jpgThe girl didn’t want to say anything to the crowd (yeah, I was shocked too since the girl ALWAYS has something to say) so the mom got up and talked.  Or shall I say, made a complete fool of herself.  She blabbed about being thankful to everyone for what they have done to make me such an awesome dog and then she totally lost it.  Her voice disappeared, she started crying like a crazy woman.   I was kinda embarrassed for her. (I hope they don’t post a video) But I did notice that a lot of people who were in the crowd were crying too.  Maybe I just have that effect on people?  Is that a good thing?  Whatever, I know it is.  I do important things.20140126-191002.jpgYou want to know what I thought the best part about team graduation was?  My puppy raisers and the girl and her family went out to dinner afterward.  And they got to know each other.  And they talked about me for 3 hours.  And they laughed.  I like it when I’m the center of attention, even when I am calmly lying under the table pretending I’m not paying attention.  But I knew what was going on.   I’m pretty sure they are going to be friends for a long time.  All because of me.  Darwin, the used to be Guide Dog, now super duper Diabetic Alert Dog.

There was a whole lot of love that went into making me the dog I am today.  And a couple corrections.  Whatever, maybe a lot of corrections.  Thank you to everyone who gave me a healthy dose of both.

PS: Special thank you to Summer from the Gambord Family Foundation.  Thank you for coming to the graduation.  I’m sorry the mom cried like a ninny, and I’m sorry the girl ran off to play.  However, I guess that means things are working out as they should be.  I’m keeping the girl safe and the parents are over the top appreciative.  Their lives are better because of me.…because  the Foundation made it possible.

7 thoughts on “Team graduation.

  1. Hi, I was at the Graduation for my sister Lia & O’Shea. I had the great pleasure to sit with your Mom and Dad! Your story brought back many memories and I am so happy for your family what a miracle these angel dogs are!!!

  2. Darwin you are very special to our family. A secret between you an me, I was crying too. The girl loves you a lot. I will always be thankful to EAC, your puppy raiser, all your foster families, guide dog for the blinds and the Gambor Family Foundation for making it possible for you to be part of our family. I love you buddy! You rock.

  3. I just found your blog. You have a very important job and a special relationship with your girl. I am a service dog and I know how you feel. Keep up the good work.

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